Remote Study and Your Student Visa

On this page you can find information about how studying remotely will affect your current Tier 4/Student Visa or future student visa applications.

This information applies to you if: 

  1. You started a programme remotely in September 2020 – or you are a continuing student
  2. Your 90-day vignette will expire before you can travel to the UK
  3. Your CAS will expire before you can apply for a Student Visa
  4. You started a programme in January 2021 and want to study remotely  
  5. You are thinking of deferring your course
  6. Applying for a Student Visa
  7. You are studying remotely
  8. Graduate Route Visa to work in the UK after your studies
  9. You are currently in the UK but want to leave and study remotely

The situation changes regularly so please keep checking this page for updates.  

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) are also publishing regular updates about Covid-19 and visas

The University will regularly send you emails with updates.

For questions about your course, or if you cannot continue to study remotely, or any other questions about your course, please contact your academic school.

  1. MY COURSE STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 2020, OR YOU ARE A CONTINUING STUDENT
  • You can continue studying remotely until such time as you are able to arrive in the UK for study. You will need to apply for a Student Visa before you travel, or you can return on a valid Student Visa.
  • For guidance on submitting a Student Visa application, see below.
  • Taught Postgraduate Students/International Foundation Year Students: If you do not wish to arrive in the UK for study, you can complete your course remotely and you will not need to submit a visa application.  Your CAS will expire and there is no action required regarding your visa.
  • Undergraduate Students will be expected to arrive in the UK when circumstances allow.
  • If you are in your final year of study and due to graduate in 2021, you may not be able to return to the UK as expected.  See below for Graduate Route information.  
  • Do not return to the UK if your Student Visa has expired.
  • If for any reason you can’t continue to study remotely, contact your academic school.
  1. I HAVE ALREADY APPLIED FOR A STUDENT/TIER 4 VISA AND MY 90-DAY UK ENTRY CLEARANCE VIGNETTE (STAMP) WILL EXPIRE BEFORE I CAN TRAVEL TO THE UK. 

If your 90 day vignette has expired, you will need to apply for a replacement by completing the online form. The cost of replacing an expired 90 day vignette is £154 and you will need to make an appointment to resubmit your biometric information.

This is the same form as your Student Visa application, but you should select the following options:

  • Reason for Visit:  Other
  • Visa Type: Other
  • Visa sub-type: Vignette Transfer

At the end of the application form in the ‘Any other information’ field, explain you have been granted a Student Visa and now need a new vignette to permit you to travel to the UK.

We advise you to apply for this when you are confident you can travel to the UK. The new vignette will be valid for a period of 90 days. If you cannot travel during this time, you will need to apply again to update your vignette.

If you have submitted an application for a replacement vignette, and are still awaiting a decision, but now no longer intend to travel, you should submit a withdrawal request at the Visa Application Centre that you applied from in order for your passport to be released back to you.

You will not require a new CAS or TB certificate when you apply for a vignette trasnfer.

  1. MY CAS IS DUE TO, OR HAS, EXPIRED
  • Your CAS is valid for 6 months from the date it was assigned to you.  If your course start date was in September 2020, you have registered on your course and you are currently studying remotely, you can contact our Admissions Office for a new CAS and make your Student Visa application when you are able to travel:  casqueries@leeds.ac.uk
  • If you are a research postgraduate and you have registered and started your research programme remotely, please contact our PGR admissions team for a new CAS and make your Student Visa application when you are able to travel:  rp_applications@leeds.ac.uk
  1. MY COURSE STARTS IN JANUARY 2021
  • If you are a new student preparing to start a programme in January 2021, follow the late arrivals guidance on this page
  • You can study remotely until you are able to arrive in the UK to study when circumstances allow.
  • For information about your 90-day vignette expiring before you can travel to the UK, or your CAS expiring (your CAS is valid for 6 months) before you can apply for a Student Visa, see above.
  • For guidance on submitting your Student Visa application, see below (6).
  1. I AM THINKING OF DEFERRING MY COURSE

You can study remotely whenever possible. You can apply for your Student Visa when you are able to travel to the UK.

  • If you are thinking of deferring your course, as you cannot study remotely, you’ll need to speak with your school to see if this is possible.
  • If your school agree to the deferral, the University will make a report to UKVI that your visa is no longer required, and if you have applied for your Student Visa, it will be curtailed (cut short, and no longer valid for UK entry).
  • If you have registered and started studying remotely, your School may agree that you can take temporary leave. Your visa will be curtailed (cut short, and no longer valid for UK entry). For information about your CAS, this page will be updated in due course.
  • If you have not applied for your Student Visa, do not proceed to do so (your CAS will expire and no further action is required). 
  • If you have applied for a Student Visa but not yet provided your biometrics, see below about cancelling your application.
  • If you choose to defer and your academic school agrees to this, but you have already applied for a Student Visa, you will not receive a refund for the visa application or for the Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • For all students who defer you will have a new course start date, need a new CAS from Admissions (casqueries@leeds.ac.uk) and to make a new Student Visa application.  The University does not refund these costs. 
  1. I PLAN TO STUDY REMOTELY.  HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY VISA OR VISA APPLICATION?

Our advice depends on what stage you have got to with your visa application, and when you intend to travel to the UK: 

  • If you have applied for a visa but not yet given your fingerprints/photo you can cancel your application and obtain a refund, if you are now unable to travel to the UK.
  • If your visa has been issued and you are undecided about travel to the UK for any remaining part of your course, continue engaging with your studies remotely until the situation is clearer.  
  • See above (Section 2) for what to do when your 90-day vignette expires
  • See above (Section 3) for what to do when your CAS expires.

APPLYING FOR A VISA WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR INTENDED TRAVEL DATE

We advise you to apply for a Student Visa when you are confident you will be able to travel.

The Immigration Health Surcharged increased to £470 per year of your visa from 27 October 2020.

For a full explanation of the visa application process and a screen-by-screen example of the information you need to include in the application visit the Applying for a student visa webpage 

  1. I AM CURRENTLY IN THE UK BUT WISH TO RETURN HOME TO CONTINUE MY STUDIES REMOTELY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Contact your academic school first.  Our advice depends on whether you plan to return to the UK to study and whether you wish to take advantage of the new Graduate Route visa to work in the UK after your studies.

If you plan to return to the UK to study before the end of your programme 

If you plan to return to the UK when circumstances allow, no action will be taken. Continue engaging with your studies and your visa will remain valid for when you are able to return to the UK. 

If you are in your final year and near to completing your studies, or your visa expires during this time, no action will be taken in relation to your visa. 

Do not return to the UK on an expired visa.

  1. IF YOU INTEND TO COMPLETE YOUR STUDIES REMOTELY AND NOT RETURN TO THE UK TO STUDY 

Contact your academic school if you tell us that are not intending to return to the UK; the University will withdraw Tier 4/Student sponsorship and UK Visas and Immigration will curtail (cut short) your visa.  It will then be invalid for travel to the UK.

Please note that if your visa has been curtailed and you wish to attend a graduation ceremony taking place in Leeds (where possible) you will need to apply for a Standard Visitor Visa

  1. IF YOU WISH TO APPLY FOR THE GRADUATE ROUTE (TO WORK IN THE UK AFTER STUDYING) 

Your course started in September 2020/You are due to graduate in 2021

If you are studying remotely, the UK government has announced that students graduating from UK universities in 2021 will be eligible to apply if they arrive by 21 June 2021 (updated from the previous date of 6 April 2021) and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.  

Your course started in January 2021:

Taught Postgraduates: If you are studying remotely and considering applying for the Graduate Route Visa, you must arrive or return to the UK by 27 September 2021 to complete the final semester of your studies in the UK.

Please note that information about the Graduate Route visa is subject to change so you should keep checking for updates.  

If you are unable to start studying in the UK by the relevant dates, you will not be eligible for the Graduate Route; no concessions have been made, for example, Covid-19 issues making travel difficult.

I will graduate in 2022 or after:

If you are expecting to graduate in 2022 or after, there is no further guidance at present and the above dates are not relevant for you.